Beginner’s Guide to the US Virgin Islands – Part 1

Beginner’s Guide to the US Virgin Islands – Part 1

The US Virgin Islands have many more perks than you might think! The beginner’s guide to the US Virgin Islands will answer some unknowns and highlight some wonderful things that this Caribbean destination has to offer. Whether you are looking to chill out on the beach with your family or have a romantic getaway with your sweetheart, St Thomas, St Croix and St John are an ideal island escape.

In Part 1 of the two-part beginner’s guide we will tackle the most commonly asked questions travelers wonder about this beautiful destination.

USVI and BVI – What is the difference?

The main difference between the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands is that one is a territory of the USA and the other is a territory of Great Britain (so you will need your passport to travel to these islands). The US Virgin Islands consists of three islands: St Thomas, St John and St Croix.

However, that is not the only difference between these two tropical island groups. While they share similarities such as warm water, plenty of sunshine averaging about 80 degrees Fahrenheit and white sand beaches, they each have their own unique differences as well.

The islands have different vibes. The British Virgin Islands are generally quieter and more laid back as well as a bit more expensive. Many travelers take advantage of their close proximity to each other and visit both sets of islands.

British Virgin Islands

US Virgin Islands

Do US citizens need a passport to enter?

The US Virgin Islands follow the mainland US entry requirements. This means for US citizens visiting the island it is just like domestic travel. You will not need to bring your passport to travel to US Virgin Islands. All you need to pack is a form of ID that proves your citizenship such as a government issued driving license or a raised-seal birth certificate. However, it’s still good practice to bring your passport when traveling as it is the best form of identification.

In addition to this perk, there are many convenient direct flights from major cities in the US. This means more discount travel packages are available throughout the year.

What currency is used in the USVI?

Currency in the US Virgin Islands is the United States Dollar. This is convenient because US travelers do not have to worry about exchange rate or tax on exchange. In addition, USVI also accepts almost all of the major credit cards.

Can you drink the water?

It is best not to drink any tap water while you are in the US Virgin Islands. Also, avoid ice that is made with tap water. Bottled water is available in shops all over the island, so quenching your thirst and staying hydrated is still very convenient.

On the upside, the U.S. Virgin Islands has many popular drinks besides water—both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Check out our list of the top ten drinks in the US Virgin Islands.

What side of the road do they drive on?

In the US Virgin Islands the cars drive on the left hand side of the road. However, most vehicles on the island are built with left-side steering since they’re imported from the US. If driving in a different atmosphere and opposite side of the road intimidate you, there are several other modes of transportation available on the island.

For more tips such as the best ways to get around or some famous island beverages besides water, stay tuned for Part 2 of the beginner’s guide to the US Virgin Islands. In the mean time, information on currency, auto transportation and passports, can be found on our information page. Once you know the basics, we are certain you will want to plan a trip and experience the fun for yourselves.